It is common knowledge that the earlier young children are introduced to reading, the more successful readers they will become. What better place to teach young children about the joys of reading and respect for books than your local library? If you are a parent to an energetic toddler, you might feel hesitant to take your little one to the library. Here are some tips to make you feel reassured that a trip to the library will be an enjoyable outing for you and your toddler.
Libraries Can Be Noisy Too
The preconceived notion that libraries are all quiet and dark is not true today. Libraries may not be as noisy as your neighborhood park, granted, but most libraries today are very welcoming to their younger patrons. There are children sections that are very kid friendly these days. Cute comfy seating and learning toys fill up areas of children sections. While libraries may not be the setting for rough housing and yelling, the children areas certainly are inviting areas for talking, sharing, and exploring.
Sign Up For Story Time
Most local libraries offer toddler events and activities. Most common is the story time hour. Your local library will most likely have a schedule for story time, and when to sign up. This is a great way to have your little one become accustomed to the library and books. It is also a wonderful way to get your toddler used to socializing with other toddlers. After story time, let your toddler explore books and select a few to check out.
Take Small Snacks
Most libraries will not appreciate a full toddler lunch being shared in their children’s sections, but a small snack that is not messy should be fine. Children will enjoy looking at books and puzzles and having a small snack handy will curb outbursts from hungry tummies.
Snuggle and Read
Get comfy and explore the different books your toddler picks out. There are so many selections that it takes time for your little one to have fun picking up looking and putting back the many different books. This is great learning and bonding time for you and your toddler, so relax and enjoy it.
Teach Responsibility Early
Teach your child early that books are to be treated with care and respect. Especially books you and your child have borrowed from the library. Remind young ones to not tear pages or write in the books. Encourage responsibility by having a designated area, shelf, or basket for library books to be kept at home. Teach children to return their library books to that location when they are done reading them so the books will not get lost. Also, have a calendar marked within your toddler’s eyesight with the day circled for when the books need to be returned to the library.
Library trips will be something you and your toddler will truly enjoy and treasure before you know it!